As a whole, bass are some of the most sought-after game fish in the world. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, at least 43 percent of all freshwater anglers in the United States fish for bass, resulting in a $60 billion industry. With more than 30 million bass anglers fishing every year, some experts say that it is the number-one participation sport in the country, while others place it in at least the top five.

Much of the attention is reserved for largemouth bass, a fish that is well-known for its fighting prowess and great size. These days, in the age of Facebook and YouTube, the very possibility of a state record bass will often produce extensive “visual” documentation. The same was not true for fish before the rise of the internet, however. In fact, few pictures survive of older records. Some have been lost while others were hidden away in private collections or forgotten. Even the current world record, which has stood for 83 years, has no confirmed picture.

Luckily, we did manage to come up with (most of) the images for the top nine standing US state records for largemouth bass, which you can see below. Included are the weight of the fish, where it was caught, the angler who brought it in, and the year of the catch.

1. Virginia

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  • 16 pounds, 4 ounces
  • Connor Lake
  • Richard Tate
  • 1985

2. Arkansas

Image courtesy Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Image courtesy Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
  • 16 pounds, 4 ounces
  • Mallard Lake
  • Aaron Mardis
  • 1976

3. Arizona

Unfortunately, the photo of White's 1997 record fish seems to be lost. Or at least we can't find it. If you happen to have the image, please let us know!
Unfortunately, the photo of White’s 1997 record fish seems to be lost. Or at least we can’t find it. If you happen to have the image, please let us know!
  • 16 pounds, 7.68 ounces
  • Canyon Lake
  • Randall E. White
  • 1997

4. Alabama

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  • 16 pounds, 8 ounces
  • Mountain View Lake
  • Thomas Burgin
  • 1987

5. Florida

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  • 17 pounds, 4 ounces
  • Unknown
  • Billy O’Berry
  • 1986

6. Mississippi

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  • 18 pounds, 2.4 ounces
  • Natchez State Park Lake
  • Anthony Denny
  • 1992

7. Texas

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  • 18 pounds, 2.88 ounces
  • Lake Fork
  • Barry St. Clair
  • 1992

8. California

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  • 21 pounds, 12 ounces
  • Lake Castaic
  • Michael Arujo
  • 1991

9. Georgia (World Record)

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This image is believed to show George Perry’s legendary world record bass, although no confirmed picture has ever been found. You can read more about Perry and his fish’s legacy here.

  • 22 pounds, 4 ounces
  • Montgomery Lake
  • George Perry
  • 1932

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